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Theodore David Brown (May 5, 1924 – March 20, 2005) was a radio personality who worked at several stations in New York City including WMGM, WNEW and WNBC during the 1950s and 1960s, the golden age of AM radio.

Ted Brown
Ted Brown 1956.JPG
Brown in 1956
Theodore David Brown

(1924-05-05)May 5, 1924
Collingswood, New Jersey, US
DiedMay 20, 2005(2005-05-20) (aged 81)
Alma materRoanoke College
OccupationRadio personality and tail gunner
Sylvia Miles
(m. 1963; div. 1970)


Early lifeEdit

Brown was born in Collingswood, New Jersey, the son of Rose and Meyer Nathan Brown, a grocery store owner. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants.[1] Brown attended Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. He served as a B-17 tail gunner during World War II, and spent 18 months as a prisoner of war after being shot down over Germany. During the 1950s, Brown broadcast from a studio in the basement of his home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.[2]

Radio careerEdit

Brown as "Bison Bill" when he filled in for Bob Smith on Howdy Doody.

In 1953, Brown began working at WNEW 1130 as an air-personality. He worked there off and on and at one point he worked at WMGM playing rock and roll. He indeed returned to WNEW and then worked at WNBC from the late 60s to the early 70s. At that point he went back to WNEW as afternoon drive air personality. He moved to mornings in 1978 and remained after WNEW began evolving in 1979 to Adult Standards/Big Bands by 1981. He continued working at WNEW until 1989 when he semi-retired. In the 1990s he helped host New York Giants football games on WNEW. From 1993-95, Brown worked mid-days at WRIV, a standards station in Riverhead, New York, and on WVNJ 1160 in Oakland, New Jersey, playing standards and big bands from early in 1996 to about 1998 when he suffered a stroke. He signed-off his show with the phrase "Put on the coffee Mama. I'm coming home."[2]

Howdy Doody ShowEdit

In October of 1954, Brown was hired to temporarily replace the ailing Bob Smith, who had suffered a heart attack on Labor Day, on The Howdy Doody Show. Brown played the part until Smith returned in September of 1955.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Thrice married himself, his second wife was actress Sylvia Miles; the union ended in an acrimonious divorce in 1970, with Brown paying Miles alimony for decades; he was quoted in an interview as saying "It's been between $200,000 and $300,000". He was her third and last husband.[4]


Brown died at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale due to complications of a stroke he had suffered several years earlier.[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. "Ted Brown, Talk Show Host and New York Radio D.J., Is Dead", The New York Times, March 22, 2005; accessed May 4, 2008. "As a teenager in the 1950's, Jonathan Schwartz, another New York radio colleague, watched Mr. Brown broadcasting from his basement studio at his home in Riverdale, in the Bronx. Theodore David Brown was born on May 5 in Collingwood [sic], N.J., the youngest of four children of Meyer Nathan Brown, who owned a grocery store, and Rose Brown."
  3. ^ Davis, Scott. Hey Kids! What Time is it?. Little Brown Book company.
  4. ^ "Forget That Trinket in Her Right Hand—Actress Sylvia Miles' Biggest Fan Is Sylvia Miles". People. October 20, 1988. Retrieved June 12, 2019.

External linksEdit